Police in Harare on Tuesday impounded an 18-tonne truck containing smuggled goods, while one officer was seriously bashed by touts while chasing the fleeing driver.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the truck was stopped in the city centre in the capital by traffic police officers in a routine check-up. The driver allegedly claimed that he was carrying bananas in his container.
“The officers told the driver to take his vehicle to the VID depot for inspection and along the way, he changed his mind and started to speed, fleeing from the cops. The officer pursued him until he turned into a way one-resulting in him jumping off the car and fleeing on foot,” Charamba said.
“Our officers tried to go for him, but they could not catch him as touts came in and blocked the way. The touts held one of the officers and bashed him. We don’t want such behaviour because we lost a suspect in the process.”
Police said when they took the truck to the VID for inspection they discovered that it was loaded with smuggled second-hand clothes and other items.
“The truck has a carrying capacity of 18 tonnes, but it was loaded with goods weighing 22 tonnes. And it was full of second-hand clothes and other goods. While our officers were inspecting the car, a certain man pitched up and claimed that the consignment belonged to some senior security people. Our officers tried to question him on who they were, but he disappeared into thin air,” she said.
“We are urging our people to help police officers whenever there is a suspect they are pursuing instead of blocking them.”
The truck has since been handed over to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, while a manhunt has been launched for the driver. newsday